| Author: Dele Oke
Fishing for men
Whether you are a preacher of the gospel, an evangelist, usher or singer in the church, God still expects you to bear fruit for Him.
We are all called to be fishers of men. Below are seven baits for effective fishing. Follow them diligently and you will become a master fisher of men. All these baits are things that Jesus Himself stated or did during His life ministry. Follow them and you too will be fruitful.
1. Share the whole Gospel - Isaiah 61, Luke 4:16 - 20
Jesus started His ministry by declaring His objectives in Luke 4. The good news He was bringing involved works, words and wonders. Jesus ministered to the spirit, soul and body. He provided physical nourishment (feeding 5,000) as well and healing to the body.
The gospel is a complete package
2. Stay rooted in the faith - Prayer and meditation
He is the vine and we are the branches. Except we abide in Him we can do nothing. What folly it is to neglect our prayer time and fellowship in the word.
Prayer opens doors of ministry. Even Paul prayed for open doors. Many Christians today lament the lack of open doors and do little to pray for them. Many of us face numerous open doors for ministry in our secular jobs and hardly recognise them because of lack of prayer.
Meditation brings revelation. Spend time to dwell in the word and his power will dwell in you.
3. Keep a love for God and a compassion for the people - John 21: 15 - 19
After His resurrection from the dead Jesus went back to his disciples. They, despite three years of teaching from Jesus Himself had returned to their secular jobs of fishing. Jesus now stirred up the love of God in their hearts. It is love for the Lord that will keep you serving Him in the good times and the bad.
A compassion for the people of God is the key to effective ministry. Many Christian like Christian ministry but hate people. It will not work. Pray for a real love for God and a compassion for the people who you desire to serve.
4. Don't entertain fear - Luke 12: 22 - 34
Jesus was committed to the work of God. Early in His ministry satan attempted to kill Him by having the people push Him over the cliff (Luke 4). Jesus escaped by walking through the crowd. Satan could only lay his hands on Jesus when it was the right time.
Those who have Jesus as their saviour and Lord are secure in His hands. Many Christians only treat Jesus as their saviour but not Lord. Jesus is your Lord when you allow His will to be your will. Those who are committed to serve Jesus as their Lord need not worry whatever satan brings along. He will keep in perfect peace he whose mind is stayed on him. Your death will not occur before your time.
5. Recognise and fellowship within the body of Christ - Luke 10:1
Jesus sent the disciples out in twos. No one is an Island. Recognise the various gifts that God has put in the body. Make sure you are accountable to someone. Fellowship with believers in a larger context than your own local church or fellowship. When Christians start to think and act as if only their local church or movement has access to all God's truth they soon fall into error. Recognise the whole body of Christ, else you will soon find yourself grieving the heart of God and falling short of His grace.
6. Keep a humble spirit - Mark 10: 35 - 45
When some of the disciples of Jesus attempted to gain a higher level of ranking among the other disciples a lot of envy and displeasure soon spread. Jesus approach to this was to teach them about humility. Only humility can bring and keep unity among believers. God's power is available to those of a humble spirit. Humility is seeing yourself as God sees you. The greatest should be ready to be the servant. Much of the attitude we see in the church today has nothing to do with humility. We act as if our large churches and big ministries have more to do with our own ability and not God's grace. Humble yourself and save God the need of doing it.
7. Never, never forget your first duty - being with the Lord
Jesus called the disciples first to be with him, secondly to be sent out and thirdly to walk in authority. Never forget that order. Your first ministry is to serve the Lord. Never forget that. Never allow ministry to take the place of fellowship with the Lord. Fellowship is the reason God made you in His image. Never let anything take that place.